3 min read
27 September 2022

Statement from Randall Freeborn, WoodGreen’s Vice President of People & Culture and Homeward Bound, on the Ontario government investing in women’s employment skills

Toronto, Ont. - WoodGreen Community Services applauds and thanks the Government of Ontario for announcing their investment of $6.9 million over the next three years to expand the Investing in Women’s Futures program.

This program provides resources and training opportunities to help women develop in-demand skills for employment. It also provides supports for women facing social and economic barriers, including abuse and isolation. With this additional government investment, the program will be expanding its service delivery sites across Ontario.

Women’s social and economic empowerment is incredibly important to WoodGreen. WoodGreen provides a wrap-around social and financial support program called Homeward Bound, which provides critical interventions for single mothers and families, many of whom are escaping abusive situations. The program offers multi-service supports, including education, housing, child care, and access to employment.

Upon entry into the program, approximately 80 per cent of Homeward Bound participants have experienced abuse and many participants enter the program while being housed in a shelter. Approximately 90 per cent of these vulnerable clients entering are also accessing social assistance. A study conducted by the Constellation Consulting Group found that 94 per cent of program graduates reported being stably housed and 87 per cent of participants were employed up to five years after graduation.

The successes of the program speak volumes, however, the ongoing expense of running the program with fundraised dollars has become difficult to sustain. With government support, there is an opportunity to maintain and expand the program.

We look forward to working alongside the government to continue to help women build economic independence and financial stability through our Homeward Bound program and will review the Investing in Women’s Futures program application process closely.

ABOUT WOODGREEN COMMUNITY SERVICES (woodgreen.org): WoodGreen is one of the largest social service agencies in Toronto, serving 37,000 people each year. We offer over 75 programs and services tackling the social determinants that affect the health and well-being of individuals in our community.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Jen Mayville, Marketing & Communications Manager; [email protected]; (437) 226-8091 (cell)